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Feeling sad/hurt about breastfeeding

(40 Posts)
Flingmoo Tue 09-Dec-14 14:40:44

Fuck them all, everyone out there who has expressed sympathy with the Farage's point of view on this whole debate. Sorry to make another thread on this issue but I've got to the point where I'm not just angry about it but actually feeling quite hurt. It makes me realise what a significant portion of society see me, a breastfeeding woman as , at best, a second class citizen, and at worst, disgusting.

I'm not usually that precious and I know I shouldn't give a fuck what these people think. But it feels very personal now. To me, it was just hilariously stupid when people compared breastfeeding to urination, but now I'm hearing this everywhere I look, it seems like I should feel ashamed to feed my baby in public.

I don't even know what I'm getting at on this thread. Bleh. I guess I want someone to tell me how I can direct my emotional response to this issue in a more productive and less wussy way. Without being called "breastapo" (a term which should go in the same bin as "feminazis" IMHO...)

Sorry, I feel really pathetic for making this thread. I am really beaten down.

MostHighlyFlavouredLady Tue 09-Dec-14 14:44:55

It's fear that drives it. Remember that. It's the fear of the patriarchy. Fear in its most aggressive form always comes before genuine and radical change.

It doesn't appear it of course but it IS positive and as a breastfeeding mother you are a part of that and you are paving the way for a better future for your children and theirs.

You should be very proud that you can be a part of this.

BeCool Tue 09-Dec-14 14:52:50

I feel slightly ashamed to be a UK citizen at the moment - I just can't see all this hysteria happening in any other country. The world must be looking at us thinking WTAF???

And I agree if you are pro-BF you get called names even here on MN. It's incredibly depressing.

I just saw a woman BF in Westfield and I wanted to hug her (don't worry I didn't) - it was a gorgeous reminder for me personally, at just how normal and lovely BF is, and just how irrelevant the current media frenzy is and how all the fuckwits who think their ridiculous opinions on the subject are worth spouting are wrong.

I BF 2 DC for about 3 years in total - I did it where/when and how I wanted. It made me feel wonderful and my babies loved it.

Maybe that is what you need to focus on - ignore and block out all the idiots and just focus on the fact that you are doing something perfectly normal that babies love more than anything.

BeCool Tue 09-Dec-14 15:02:30

BTW I am equally enraged with Boris Johnson saying mother should feed 'discreetly'.

YouGov did a poll which has been positively reported that "most people support BF" but even that show that between 18& 36% don't support BF in public - which is madness.

YOUGOV poll

JassyRadlett Tue 09-Dec-14 15:05:05

The first time I breastfed my son in proper public (as opposed to a very quiet and darkish corner of the pub) was sitting on a bench in a shopping centre with a ravenous 3 week old.

Breastfeeding had not been a walk in the park and when an elderly lady came and purposefully sat down next to me I'll admit I was gearing up to get an earful.

She said he was a beautiful baby, and she was always so pleased to see mothers breastfeeding their babies, told me well done and that I should be proud.

I will admit that I cried a bit afterwards because she was just so nice. And I always thought back to that moment when people were being fuckwits about breastfeeding in public.

lemonpoppyseed Tue 09-Dec-14 15:31:09

BeCool, I am in Canada and have been pretty amazed at some of the stories I've read in the UK press this week. Here, the right to breastfeed is covered by Human Rights legislation. In Toronto, where I am, The Public Health department does a fantastic job promoting and supporting breastfeeding. I have never seen any anti-BF sentiment expressed in the ten years I have lived here, and happily fed my two small ones whenever and wherever. It's interesting how it's not really an issue at all.

BeCool Tue 09-Dec-14 18:29:32

Lemon, right to Bf it is protected by discrimination legislation here in the UK too hmm. And still this happens.

EhricJinglingHisBallsOnHigh Tue 09-Dec-14 18:44:15

When senior politicians think it's appropriate to tell women they should be discreet or sit in corners of course the gen pub are going to absorb that. I wonder if it's related to the single sex public schooling most of our dear leaders received? Squicked out by real women's bodies?

stargirl1701 Tue 09-Dec-14 18:49:28

It's further protected in Scotland as it is a criminal offence rather than a civil matter. Women can call the police and have the person arrested.

I must admit, I have been quite shocked at the comments under the news articles in various online newspapers. I had no idea so many people found it disgusting. It's so hard to do and takes so much emotional resilience to keep going with breastfeeding. It is been the most challenging task I have ever undertaken in my whole life.

HenriettaTurkey Tue 09-Dec-14 19:00:10

Sadly, though it's not confined to men. I know of women who agree - because they see breasts as sexual. confusedangrysad

Minty82 Tue 09-Dec-14 19:04:45

I've been absolutely staggered by it - I seem to have been extraordinarily sheltered. I breastfed DD for 10 months, anywhere and everywhere, and am currently doing the same with 8 month old DS, and have never had a single negative comment or so much as a raised eyebrow; unless I'm far less observant than I realised. Almost all my friends with babies breastfeed, as did my mother and aunts, and it honestly never occurred to me to do anything else, or that it was a big deal or something people could possibly object to. I don't think I'd have martyred myself trying to make it work if it hadn't come easily, but I was lucky and it did so I got on with it. Can't quite believe so many people seemingly have a problem with me feeding my children, and am slightly disappointed never to have encountered them so I could tell them precisely how mindbogglingly twattish they are...

AppleYumYum Tue 09-Dec-14 19:12:23

I feel just like you OP after these past few days, I can't even bring myself to read the comments under online news articles as I know what crap will be there. It's so sad and it makes me not want to live here or bring my sons up here. I come from a country where it's perfectly normal and there's no stigma.

I think it's the page 3/lads mags/music videos etc that hyper sexualises everything to the point that boobs are no longer seen as mammary glands. Young mothers are therefore growing up in this culture and are embarrassed by it.

There's so much science behind breastfeeding and it's so clever the human body once you learn about it. I don't understand why there isn't more work promoting it in the media. Why not have educational adverts on tv, all we see is 'when it's time to move on' formula adverts. A few posters in waiting rooms isn't going to cut it. Plus more support, why are so many giving up at 6 weeks when those that carry on know it gets easier after that.

A lot of the posts on the other thread by people who weren't parents yet were enlightening as to what they think we should do. A lot of why not express a bottle to feed them so you don't have to offend anyone. No understanding of how expressing works for a start or how most babies reject bottle teats if they're not used to them. Plus why should anyone have to do that in the first place, breastfeeding is great because you don't need anything to leave the house except a large napkin it seems

hmm ho hum

EmbarrassedPossessed Tue 09-Dec-14 19:16:03

I've been on some of the other threads about this and I'm just bemused at how disgusted some people are by normal human bodies, particularly lactating ones. Especially when it comes from women who who are or have been pregnant, which surely is more of a physical change than breastfeeding.

victorianhomedreamer Tue 09-Dec-14 19:31:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BugritAndTidyup Tue 09-Dec-14 19:36:21

I know exactly how you feel, OP, because I've been feeling more or less the same way.

What baffles me is this belief that if something makes you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable, then that something SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

But what really depresses me is that one of the leaders of one of the parties believes that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against me. Oh, and my baby. Which is at the heart of Farage's comments.

But that's fucking UKIP for you. Why am I susprised that Farage is an ignorant sexist shit? Oh wait, I'm not.

Flingmoo Tue 09-Dec-14 20:43:17

Glad I'm not unusual in feeling this way, although I wish it didn't have to be the case...

I think one of my issues is that despite the fact most of us have never encountered any rude comments in real life, all these online comments reveal that there must be a LOT of people out there who are (silently, in person, but vocally on the internet) disapproving every time they see someone like me feeding my baby in public.

Also, the fact it's been on the news so much recently makes me feel that people will see me breastfeeding in a cafe, on a bus etc and think 'oh, she's making a political statement'.

Shlep Tue 09-Dec-14 20:50:42

It's so, so depressing. Can't believe so many people support UKIP sad

Justgotosleepnow Tue 09-Dec-14 21:38:44

Op I agree. At first (re claridges) I thought it was just all daft. Now I'm realising how many people are actually disgusted by Breastfeeding. Like, what breasts are actually for. Not just ogling. It's really sad. And scary that everyone has been brainwashed so effectively.

Basically boobs are ok, as long as they are not lactating.

This is deep deep stuff. As these days there is likely to be little support for Breastfeeding, and your female relatives are likely to have not done it, due to the amazing success of the formula companies advertising. Likewise few of your friends. So any woman successfully Breastfeeding is unusual, and likely to be feeling pretty proud of herself.

And then to be compared to nazi war criminals? It just does not compute.

WHAT are these people so scared of? Is it just lactating breasts, owned by a woman who is clearly in control of her own body. And a woman who is in tune with her baby, not following a ridiculous clock based routine from a book.

It seems to actually terrify people that a woman, a mother, can be confident, happy, content. That makes me sad. And shake my head at how, how, how have we gone so wrong here?

(Ie all the women's magazines are just full of crap about fixing your 'problems', all about the men in your life, how to look like a barbie for your man. I've never read any that are positive. Other than the Oprah mag maybe.)

But I personally have turned anger into positive action. I have set up a bf group providing bf support & info in my area. If we all do what we can, we can make a difference.

Flingmoo Tue 09-Dec-14 22:19:12

Justgotosleepnow I have been inspired by your post - not brave or motivated enough to set up a support group but I have texted a breastfeeding counsellor whose number I have from my old antenatal classes, and I asked her if she knows of any way I can volunteer locally to do something positive in the face of all this negativity.

She said she'd text me tomorrow with a number to call! fsmile Hope something good comes of this!

Justgotosleepnow Tue 09-Dec-14 22:32:42

Hooray! Well done grin

SoMuchForSubtlety Tue 09-Dec-14 22:35:55

I think the type of person who comments on online newspaper articles is predisposed to be a bit hysterical, so I take it with a pinch of salt (ie I'm not convinced that some of them would ever say that stuff to anyone irl, so I'm not sure their narrow minded inner life should be given any airtime), but I agree it's sad how vitriolic people are getting about something so normal as bf.

I don't take the distaste personally partly because I haven't lived it I think. In addition to not believing that newspaper comments represent "normal" behaviour, I have never had any comments or raised eyebrows or anyone look askance when bf DD, and I bf exclusively to 5.5 months when I went back to work then part time to about 10 months out and about wherever I was. And all my friends bf as did my mum back in the day and no one reported any issues.

My experience isn't the point though when it comes to this. I know a lot of women DO get hassled when they bf in public and I have no respect for the narrow minded idiots who feel that they can limit and control women this way. Everyone seems to feel like they have a right to tell women what to do, how to behave when bf etc, when it's having precisely zero effect on them.

"Offensive" is such an overused term these days and actually what I think people who use it mean is "me, me, me, think about meeee, you're not thinking about me". It's selfish and it's intolerant, and I'm not entirely surprised that the leader of the UK Intolerance Party came out with the comment he did.

eurochick Tue 09-Dec-14 22:46:43

It is ignorance and stupidity. As the breastfeeding mother of an ivf baby, I am doubly vilified (not only should I be feeding modified cows milk instead of using my own mammeries, I should be feeding it to one of the queues of babies waiting to be adopted I was supposed to have collected). I am fairly hardened to comments from those with a dose of the stupid after reading many newspaper articles on fertility treatment and the accompanying comments over the years.

HenriettaTurkey Wed 10-Dec-14 09:05:59

The only negative comments I ever had were from my DGrandma who wanted to send me upstairs when I was bf-ing at my aunt's house.

I think she was projecting concern that my niece, nephew & grandad would be embarrassed.

They were fine. My teenage niece looked a bit concerned at first but when she saw that I really was just feeding my baby; not waving my breasts around she actually thought it was lovely.

My aunt was not amused at my Grandma, though...

tiktok Wed 10-Dec-14 09:16:11

Feeding is definitely a feminist issue - hatred and disgust at the sight, even the idea, of women breastfeeding, is misogyny, though of a very odd kind that dresses itself up in notions of good manners and consideration to others. It's also a hatred of babies, that their needs are somehow less important than someone's 'need' not to be uncomfortable.

As Deborah Orr put it in the Guardian, it's anti-human.

I do think it's a tiny minority of people who really think it's like pissing or shitting. But they are vocal on the internet.

One person - a man, apparently, though how can we tell for sure? smile - posted here last week likening it to masturbating in public.

I wish I had a £1 for every internet idiot who said something along the lines of 'Natural? Yes, but so is urination and we don't do that in public.'

It's so lame. The baby is eating and we certainly permit that in public!

Maki79 Wed 10-Dec-14 09:16:42

I too have fed 2 dc without a single negative comment. In fact with dc1, on a bus, baby crying, old lady says 'deary pls just stick a breast in its mouth or something!!'

So totally disgusted by Clarksons article and by Claridges. As for Farage....watch the video of him actually saying it.

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